Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid not thinking about PSG, yet

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 02: Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid attends a press conference at Valdebebas training ground on March 2, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 02: Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid attends a press conference at Valdebebas training ground on March 2, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will be desperate to get back to winning form Saturday as they host mid-table side, Getafe, in La Liga. Zinedine Zidane was emphatic in his pre-match press conference saying that his team isn’t looking ahead to Tuesday.

All quotes come via the Real Madrid official website.

Opening Statement

"“We want to do all we can to get the win and leave everything on the field. We have to put everything into tomorrow’s game. We’re coming up against teams who’re really motivated and fully focused. For a lot of them, it’s the biggest game of the year and we must approach it the same, it must be the game of the year for us too. We’re only thinking about winning the game against Getafe.”“We have to play well tomorrow and then we’ll have time to turn our attention to Tuesday. We have to win games to hope we’ll win something at the end of the season. Every three days we have a match and we have to win them all. If we always go out with a winning mentality, motivated and always thinking about the next game, we can achieve something.”"

Are the players looking ahead to the Champions League Tuesday?

“The players will always have Tuesday’s game in their heads but the one that we’re interested in at the moment is tomorrow’s. We want to put in a good performance. The first half against Espanyol was good but the second was not so good. We have to play well for 90 minutes. To prepare for Tuesday’s game we must play well tomorrow.”

What are the feelings amongst the players on this season?

“We’ve not won anything yet and I’d like to think that the games coming up are a good chance to show the quality that we’ve got. Against PSG we did very well, but not against Espanyol. That shows that the most important thing is the next game.”

Update on the injured players

“The important thing is that Marcelo is available tomorrow and we’ll see about the others. The way the players feel is the most important thing and I want the players to be 100%.”

“You think that the league is over for us but football is like that and every league match is important. The title will go down to the wire and we’ll fight until the end. It’s difficult but not impossible. I’m an optimist until the end.”

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Overall team concentration heading into the match

“We’re angry about losing on Tuesday and I’m even more so after Barcelona’s draw yesterday. You have to be focused until the very last minute and we’re not giving in until the end. We had a run of five wins in a row, so you can’t always just focus on the bad results. We have to stick with what we’ve been doing well.”

What’s up with Isco?

“He was upset because he didn’t want to go off, but his attitude is always great. He trains well and is a player that everyone loves. We’re all in this together and it’s normal to be angry when you’re brought off.”

Thoughts on Mateo Kovacic’s play

“He’s played four or five games in a row and physically he’s fine. We’ll see how we set up tomorrow but I’m happy with his contribution.”

Is Gaku Shibasaki Getafe’s best player?

“He’s a good player for Getafe. They’re a team that defends well and are very organized. They also have quality players and he’s one of them.”

Thoughts on Neymar’s injury

“We feel sorry for Neymar but PSG are a strong team and whoever replaces him will be good for sure. We don’t expect the game to be easy, not at all. It’s a round of 16 Champions League match and we’ll have to be at 200%, whoever plays. Neymar’s replace will do well because he’ll want to prove his worth to the team.”

My thoughts

I am sure Zidane is frustrated with all the questions regarding Neymar, the Champions League match Tuesday, and his team’s focus in La Liga. For the better part of two weeks, the media have hounded Zizou at his post and pre-match press conferences about the second leg match while the team has been competing solely in league play.

However, Zinedine has been very civil and composed when addressing the questions and has shut down any chance his players are overlooking matches.

It is clear that Isco is frustrated with his substitution in a close match and whether that will affect his place in the lineup Saturday is unknown.

I think Mateo Kovacic, Marco Asensio, and Lucas Vazquez may be tiring as they played nearly every match in February and with a short turnaround between each match, the fatigue is starting to set in.

Next: What is going on with Isco at Real Madrid?

While Real Madrid has an important match Tuesday, it might be best for the regular starters to play both against Getafe and Paris.

This is a crucial match for Real and Zidane is right to not let his team overlook it for the PSG match. Focus and the three points are crucial yet again.

Stay tuned to The Real Champs for more pre-match coverage!